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- 22 Feb 2020, 3 nights
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Agra is famously home to the Taj Mahal, one of the planet's most iconic buildings and acclaimed as a wonder of the modern world. Travellers flock here to see its white marble domes, elegant minarets and symmetrical gardens. It's not the city’s only attraction, however. Agra was once the capital of the powerful Mughal Empire and is full of richly decorated monuments, fortresses and tombs. In the centre, you’ll find maze-like bazaars and elegantly laid-out green spaces.
There's no shortage of hostels in Agra. You can stay in a cosy spot conveniently located next to Khao Gali food street, opt for rooms with a serene countryside view or choose contemporary, arty lodgings. Look out for an Agra hostel with a rooftop overlooking the Taj. Some have libraries to keep you entertained, while others give you a taste of Indian culture with free chai events and cooking classes. In many Agra hostels, you can expect free Wi-Fi, female-only dorms and social communal spaces.
Agra is split up into a few main districts. Taj Ganj is the most popular as it's where the Taj Mahal is located. You'll also find bazaars selling local handicrafts here. Rakabganj is the area around Agra Fort. Fatehabad Road is a little further from the top attractions and here you can wander the maze of streets and get an authentic feel for local life. Head to Sadar Bazaar to browse stalls selling everything from sweets and spices to leather goods and clothes.
The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Agra Fort is breathtaking – it's a palatial, red-walled fortress with hundreds of interlinked courtyards featuring intricate marble and sandstone carvings. Across the river from the Taj Mahal is the Mehtab Bagh, sometimes known as the 'Moonlight Garden'. Come here for views of the Taj, minus the crowds. You can also see the 'Baby Taj', the tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah, created in a similar style but on a smaller scale. Behind the Taj itself, there are nature trails to follow in the Protected Forest.
The closest airport to Agra is Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport. To get to the town, it's best to catch a local train from New Delhi Railway Station to Agra Cantt, which takes around 2 hours. Trains from other cities arrive here and into Agra Fort station. Regular buses also run from various other cities, including Jaipur and Lucknow. The centre of the city can be explored on foot or you can hop into an auto rickshaw.